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The Toyota C-HR crossover now wears GR badges
Like the GR Yaris, but wish it was taller, slower and more of a hybrid?
But before your brain gets in a tangle working out how they’ve squeezed a pair of limited-slip differentials and a 70:30 rear torque bias under a deeply sensible crossover, pay heed to the word ‘Sport’. It also appears on the Corolla, and in Gazoo Racing parlance, it means ‘worse’.
Or certainly ‘less mad’, anyway. Much like M Sport is to M, this is a trim level. As the GR Yaris drums up all the headlines, this is what the dealers will sell at a rate of knots.
So it’s a regular hybrid C-HR, available in 120bhp 1.8-litre and 181bhp 2.0 forms, with a more interesting aesthetic lobbed at it: 19in alloys are STOCKY for a car this size while its two-tone colour scheme is standard, with larger spoilers than usual painted in contrasting black.
Inside there’s a pair of natty sports seats, optional Alcantara and a GR badge adorning almost any surface large enough to take one. Toyota insists this C-HR is “inspired by Toyota Gazoo Racing’s world championship winning success in international rally and endurance racing competition,” and if they’re referring to the level of reliability required to grind out a result in either, it’s probably fair.
Prices start £31,395 for the 1.8-litre version and £33,015 for the 2.0-litre, which is basically a £1,200 climb over standard. Probably not bad value at all if you like the assertive looks and tenuous special-stage cred the GR makeover brings.
Still, what chance a full GR Yaris heart transplant to really send the samey sports SUV market into a spin?